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    SubjectRe: /proc/nzombies
    Hi there.

    >> I must say that I think calling the maintaining of the
    >> nzombies counter "bloat" is exaggerating.

    > It is, because it solves a highly specific problem while
    > you could implement a solution that solves a more general
    > problem (or a class of problems) that also includes the
    > solution for your specific problem. VMS illustrates quite
    > nicely what this can lead to.

    > I would suggest that you try to implement a more general
    > solution.

    > Two examples:

    > - implement a fast interface to extract essential ps and
    > top information (e.g. a single read returns well-defined
    > fixed-length records with text or binary content (your
    > choice) for multiple or all processes). This would solve
    > the most visible problem of /proc, namely the high
    > processing overhead of top.

    > The zombies counter would be as simple as:

    > size = read(fd,huge_buffer,sizeof(huge_buffer));
    > zombies = 0;
    > for (i = PROC_STATE_OFFSET; i < size; i += RECORD_LENGTH)
    > if (huge_buffer[i] == ZOMBIE_STATE)
    > zombies++;

    More realistically:

    maxsize = get_process_count() + 100;
    buffer = (ps_rec **) malloc(sizeof(ps_rec * maxsize);
    size = get_process_data(buffer);
    zombies = 0;
    for (i=0; i<size; i++)
    if (buffer[i].state == ZOMBIE)

    No matter how large you make the buffer, if it's not geared to
    the current number of processes, it's ripe for a buffer over-run

    > - go one step back and ask yourself why zombies are a
    > problem. The probable answer is because they overflow
    > your process table.

    Am I right in thinking that once a process achieves Zombie
    status, it tays as an unschedulable zombie until killed?

    If so, then an obvious solution would be to move zombies out of
    the process table into a separate linked list (or perhaps into
    the /proc/nzombies file) and thus free up the process slots they
    used to occupy.

    That would probably produce a kernel speedup as well, as the
    kernel wouldn't need to scan through the zombies checking they
    are zombies when it schedules...

    Best wishes from Riley.

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